Friends of the Library
Ever seen a good old-fashioned barn raising? Probably not, but you still know exactly what I’m talking about. In rural communities, everyone came together to get big projects off the ground – and what could be a bigger project than getting a barn built? People brought their tools, manual labor, donations and good spirits to benefit a neighbor and friend and, in the end, the whole community.
At the libraries, we have our own special team of barn-raisers: the Friends of the Library. These amazing volunteers are your neighbors and friends, drawing together to get special library projects off the ground for the benefit of the whole community. Like traditional barn-raisers, they give time, labor and donations according to their abilities.
Each library branch has its own dedicated Friends chapter: Blue Ridge, Buchanan, Eagle Rock and Fincastle. In addition to collecting modest dues from members, the Friends host a variety of fundraisers – most notably used books sales – to pool funds needed for special library projects. At other times, they offer pure time and muscle to help where our staff simply can’t do it all.
If you’ve borrowed items or walked inside any of our library buildings, then you’ve benefited from our Friends’ work. That computer chair was purchased by the Friends. The entire Children’s Room was rearranged by Friends volunteers, shelf by shelf. The fresh paint that brightened up the whole building was procured by Friends. The audiobook you listened to on the way to work was purchased by Friends.
Maybe you use our curbside service to pick up items – our Friends helped us practice and perfect the whole process so we could ensure a safe and streamlined experience for both staff and patrons. When we eventually reopen our buildings, your experience will again be shaped by volunteer Friends who help staff prepare for a wide variety of in-person situations where they have to make rapid decisions to protect public and staff safety.
Our Friends are truly generous with their funds, time and expertise. But that’s not to say there aren’t some perks! You may not participate in projects, but if you’re a dues-paying member, you’ll probably get a special first-dibs pre-sale experience at used book sales. (If you’re an avid reader, that’s a HUGE incentive to join!) Our Friends’ volunteers who helped library staff work out the kinks of our brand-new curbside service had the opportunity to check out items before we officially released them to everyone else. What’s more, every Friend has the opportunity to make new acquaintances at meetings and fundraisers, and every Friend can be certain that their contribution – at any level – is a special gift to a neighbor. When the library grows, everyone in the community benefits.
Take a moment to visit our website www.BocoLibraries.info (About > Support Us) and view the web page for your local Friends chapter. It takes only minutes to join, but that one action can result in decades of community benefit. Come on, let’s raise this barn together!